By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on December 30, 2023.
The City of Medicine Hat had a sporting year that shined bright from Jan. 1 to the end of the calendar. The Medicine Hat News selected the Medicine Hat Mavericks as the top sports story for 2023, here are some honourable mentions.
The year started off with the South Alberta Hockey Academy winning their second straight Circle K Classic. Their title win on Jan. 1 made them the first team to win back-to-back tournaments for the first time since Shattuck St. Mary’s won three in a row from 1999-2001.
The Medicine Hat Tigers had two historic sold-out contests at Co-op Place with the Regina Pats and Chicago Blackhawks superstar Connor Bedard in town. Their first game, a 5-1 win on Feb. 5 attracted 6,178 fans, and the second matchup was a 7-0 win over the Pats on Mar. 11 with 6,405 in attendance.
Just over a month later, the Tigers clinched their first playoff appearance since 2019 with a 4-3, Game 68 win at Co-op Place over the Swift Current Broncos.
Kaitlyn Ross of Redcliff, alongside assistant coach and Hatter Ken Turnbull, were part of the Mount Royal Cougars championship team who defeated the Concordia Stingers 4-3 in overtime on Mar. 19 to capture the school’s first national championship.
Ross backstopped the Cougars to the championship held in Montreal, making 29 saves in the overtime contest while also picking up tournament MVP and all-star honours.
Medicine Hat’s U14 Mud Dawgs and U19 Chicken Hawks brought home ringette provincial gold in late March to finish their 2022-23 seasons.
Hatter Kathleen Callaghan was the 20,292nd person to cross the finish line and complete the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, doing so in a time of four four hours, seven minutes, 11 seconds.
When Callaghan was undergoing breast cancer treatments in 2018 she told herself if she ever felt strong enough again to qualify for the marathon she would run in it. After qualifying in 2022, she earned her spot in the infamous marathon and completed that milestone.
Medicine Hat played host to the 2023 Pickleball Canada Western Regional Championship from July 6-9. More than 520 athletes from across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba competed for the title of the Western Region’s best pickleball athletes. Medicine Hat was well represented throughout the tournament, with 44 of the 47 participating local athletes taking home medals across the men’s, women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions.
The Medicine Hat College Rattlers women’s hockey program debuted in September for its first ACAC season, marking the first time MHC has offered a women’s hockey program and the first time a hockey team of any kind has competed in the city at the collegiate level since the 1986-87 season.
The Medicine Hat Cubs celebrated their 50th anniversary as a franchise ahead of their home opener on Oct. 7, a 7-6 win over the Rocky Rams.
Hatter Elic Ayomanor became a well known name across the NCAA football world for his play with the Stanford University Cardinals. He was named to The Athletic’s Freshman All-America team, received an all Pac-12 honourable mention, was named Stanford’s offensive MVP-winning the Irving S. Zeimer award, he set the program’s record for receiving yards in a game (294) and was named the top Canadian football player in the NCAA.